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August 27, 2010

St. Paul Pioneer Press Added to ProQuest Newsstand

ProQuest is pleased to announce the addition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press to the ProQuest Newsstand database! Access is available now with backfiles to April 21, 2010. This important Minnesota newspaper joins the hundreds of other regional and national newspapers available in ProQuest Newsstand and accessible to Minnesota libraries through ELM. Please contact MINITEX's ELM Support if you have any questions.

EBSCO Publishing Extends Text-to-Speech Feature to School and Public Library Databases

from EBSCO:

EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has added text-to-speech (read aloud) support to EBSCOhost®databases, including its major school and public library databases, by embedding Texthelp Systems' SpeechStream toolbar--a valuable benefit provided at no additional cost to the user. Users will be able to take advantage of this new feature with any full-text articles available in HTML.

Text-to-speech support, already featured in EBSCO's English Language Learner Reference Centerâ„¢, allows users to read along while a human-sounding voice speaks the text on the screen. The support toolbar provides significant assistance to those for whom text-to-speech capabilities are highly valued such as English Language Learners, users with low vision, slight physical and/or learning disabilities, as well as eBook and PDA users.

Texthelp Systems is the industry leader in literacy and language support technology for online learning. Recent studies have shown that students using Texthelp's literacy support tools demonstrated significant improvements in both reading comprehension and writing performance. The President of Texthelp Systems, Jack Dolan, says SpeechStream delivers high quality reading support via the Web to improve access to information. "With the ever increasing demand to provide all users access to electronic resources when and where they need them, our partnership with EBSCO allows us to deliver the literacy support tools these users require."

Utilizing the text-to-speech feature via the EBSCOhost platform provides many advantages. Users have the ability to read-aloud by selected text, sentence, paragraph, or continuous reading with dual color synchronous highlighting (highlighting of the passage being read with a second color highlighting the specific word being read aloud at that moment). User control of read-aloud personalizes the learning experience for each user. Users can control reading speed as well as select between three different high-quality voices--American, British, or Australian. These options also enable teachers and professionals to incorporate the features as a tool for teaching English and reading.

August 4, 2010

New EBSCOhost Features and Functionality

New EBSCOhost features and functionality, (announced in June) are about to be implemented. They expect that you will see the updates over the course of Thursday and Friday this week. The following information summarizes the most significant changes on EBSCOhost:

* The limiter and the date slider column will move from the right to the left of the Result List, a more intuitive position that consolidates the ways users can refine and work with their results in one area. For a look at the updated Result List, you can copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://support.epnet.com/uploads/CustSupport/Images/communication_images/resultlist1.gif.
* Detailed record pages will be more streamlined, and links to full text, your link resolvers, ILL, etc. will be more prominently displayed on the left.
* Users will be able to select multiple clusters and source types when managing results.
* There will be an enhanced PDF Viewer, Content Viewer, HTML Full Text, etc.
* A "breadbox" will show users which limiters, expanders and source types have already been selected, and enable easy removal of these refinements.
* The Hierarchical Subject Authority File in certain databases will be adjusted to align with the style already in use in our academic databases (screen shots included in this Top Story- http://support.ebscohost.com/support_news/detail.php?id=610&t=h).
* Simpler overall interface elements will increase the intuitiveness of the user experience.